One of the reasons the Florida Panthers are in the battle for a playoff spot is star goalie Roberto Luongo. So it had to give Panthers fans heart palpitations to see Luongo get waylaid by Capitals star Alex Ovechkin when Washington hosted Florida Sunday.
Despite being bowled over by Ovechkin, Luongo stayed in the game...for the rest of the first and second periods, that is. He sat out the third in favor of backup Al Montoya, but Luongo told the Miami Herald afterward he was none the worse for wear.
“I was fine (in the second period), but it wasn’t the kind of period I wanted to have," said Luongo, who surrendered three goals in the middle frame in an eventual 4-3 Caps win. "There was no injury or anything like that.”
Florida head coach Gerard Gallant said Luongo was held out of the third for precautionary measures based on the advice of team trainers. But in any case, Panthers fans are likely just relieved to have Luongo looking ready to play. And with the team getting an extended break – their next game isn't until Thursday in Luongo's old stomping grounds in Vancouver - Luongo will face no additional pressure to return.